Despite losing their last encounter to Royal Challengers Bangalore by three wickets, Kolkata Knight Riders‘ captain Shreyas Iyer won’t be having sleepless nights before their next encounter in IPL 2022 against the Punjab Kings. In fact, he would be mighty pleased with the way his bowling attack made a strong RCB batting unit huff and puff to reach the 129-run target. If anything, Iyer would be hoping for an improved show from his batters when they take on PBKS at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. KKR’s young captain was pretty much spot on with his bowling changes against RCB and CSK but he would perhaps give a second thought to the batting order of KKR and give Andre Russell a better number.
KKR Predicted XI vs PBKS
Venkatesh Iyer: The tall left-hander is yet to produce the goods with the bat in hand for KKR at the top of the order and would be eager to make an impression against PBKS. His gentle medium pace has been used when required by Shreyas Iyer. The scenario is likely to remain similar going ahead in the tournament.
Ajinkya Rahane: The veteran India batter got off to very good start by top-scoring with a fluent 44 in KKR’s IPL 2022 opener against CSK but he failed to get going against RCB. Rahane’s success will be very important for KKR going ahead in this IPL.
Shreyas Iyer: Much like KKR’s openers, their captain Shreyas Iyer has looked good but hasn’t quite been able to set the stage on fire with the bat in hand yet. But considering the talent he possess, it is only a matter of time he provides the goods. Iyer earned plaudits from all quarters for his brilliant captaincy in the first two matches, which is sure to give him a lot of confidence when he walks out against PBKS.
Nitish Rana: The Delhi left-hander was among KKR’s most expensive buys in the mega auction and will be looking to repay the management’s faith by putting in impactful performances consistently.
Andre Russell: The big West Indies all-rounder threatened to change the game completely with his big hits against RCB but his progress was thwarted by Harshal Patel. He might get a promotion against PBKS, which will allow him to come into the game early and make a more meaningful impact. His fitness though still remains a concern. Russell was seen struggling with his leg before bowling the last over in the previous match.
Sam Billings: In the limited opportunities that Sam Billings has got in his short IPL career so far, he has always looked good. His breezy little innings against CSK was one such example. The England right-hander would be looking to make a bigger impression going ahead in IPL 2022.
Sheldon Jackson: As much as his glovework was praised in the last match, Sheldon Jackson would be disappointed for not being able to pick the wrong’un from Wanindu Hasaranga and lose his stumps. After toiling all these years in domestic cricket and warming the benches in IPL teams including KKR’s, the Saurashtra veteran has finally managed to get consecutive games at the start of an IPL. He can’t let this opportunity go.
Sunil Narine: Even after all these years, Sunil Narine’s bowling still remains a mystery for even the best of batters in the business. He has been one of KKR’s best bowlers on display in the tournament so far and will look to continue the good work against Punjab Kings.
Tim Southee: The New Zealand veteran got the wicket of Faf du Plessis with a beauty and gave a hard time to the RCB top-order. He is certain to retain his place in the side for the next few games till the time Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins joins he KKR squad.
Umesh Yadav: Fans and experts are delighted to see this version of Umesh Yadav in IPL. He has been brisk, he has made the ball swing both ways and most importantly, he has been getting the early breakthroughs. If Umesh can continue his form with the ball then KKR will be a hard team to beat.
Varun Chakravarthy: The Indian version of Sunil Narine and another one of KKR’s mystery spinners, Varun Chakravarthy has a point to prove after being dropped from the Indian side post an indecent T20 World Cup.